The 'silent' symptom of dangerously high cholesterol you can spot in your EYES – and 2 other signs | The Sun

EXPERTS believe millions of people could be walking around unaware they're at risk of a high cholesterol.

Despite being deadly, the condition doesn't typically cause symptoms – making it almost impossible to spot.

But there is one telltale sign you can sometimes spot if you're levels are dangerously high.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in blood which is made by the liver as well as some of the foods you eat.

Your body needs it to build cells and make vitamins and hormones, according to the NHS.

Having high cholesterol means you have too much of the fatty substance in your blood.

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Over half (three in five) of adults in England are living with the high cholesterol which can increase the risk of deadly heart diseases.

According to the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT), many of these people are unaware they even have it.

GP and TV Doctor Dr Rachel Ward said a sign of the condition can show up next to your eyes.

"If you have white or yellow lumps near the eyelids or nose this could be a sign of high cholesterol," Dr Rachel told The Sun.

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"These are called xanthelasma deposits and can be an indication that you have high cholesterol," she explained.

The marks usually only emerge if you have inherited high cholesterol through faulty genes.

This is known as familial hypercholesterolaemia.

If your family has passed high cholesterol down to you, you may have some of these signs:

1. Xanthelasmas

This refers to small yellow lumps of cholesterol near the inner corner of your eye.

2. Corneal arcus

A a pale ring might appear around your iris, which is the coloured part of your eye.

Having high cholesterol can clog up your arteries and raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke if left untreated.

This is because the fatty build-up in your arteries could cause peripheral arterial disease (PAD), meaning blood supply to your legs is constricted.

According to the NHS, other PAD symptoms include:

  • painful aches in your legs when walk, which disappear with rest
  • hair loss on your legs and feet
  • numbness or weakness in the legs
  • open sores on your feet and legs, which don't heal
  • the skin colour on your legs turning paler than usual or blue – this may be harder to see on brown and black skin
  • shiny skin
  • in men, erectile dysfunction
  • the muscles in your legs wasting

What is normal cholesterol?

When cholesterol combines with protein to be carried in the blood, it is known as a lipoprotein.

There are two types of lipoprotein; high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

What is the difference between 'good' and 'bad' cholesterol?

HDLs carry cholesterol away from cells and back to the liver where it can be broken down.

This is then used by the body or passed out as waste.

HDLs are known as “good cholesterol” and higher levels are considered better.

LDLs carry cholesterol to cells that require it, but if too much is delivered this can build up in artery walls, which can lead to heart disease.

LDLs are therefore known as “bad cholesterol”.

What's the best way to lower cholesterol?

Cutting back cholesterol to the levels we were born with reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes by a third, a study found.

According to BANT there are a number of ways you can cut back, including:

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  • Maintain a healthy diet which is low in fatty food
  • Swap saturated fat for fruit, veg and wholegrain cereals
  • Give up smoking
  • Take regular exercise

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